Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. When it comes to Swedish travel, Stockholm frequently gets all the attention. But this is just sick and wrong! Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, is just as charming and delicious as Stockholm. It has Michelin starred restaurants, historic architecture, and peaceful boat rides, just like Stockholm has.
On top of that, it has a world-class amusement park, Liseberg Park. Join me for a one day in Gothenburg itinerary and we will make friends with a giant rabbit and the world’s deadliest snake. Follow me!
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
Where to Stay?
I made a huge mistake booking my hotel in for my One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. It was a super sketch hostel in a weird neighborhood, with no staff, and a bizarre fellow guest with a shaved head and no front teeth who kept lurking outside my room, grinning psychotically. It took me less than an hour to realize I should cancel the reservation and find a room elsewhere.
Enter Hotel Royal, which truly lives up to its name. They had one room they hadn’t managed to book, so I got it for half price. The location is perfect, the breakfast is the best hotel breakfast I have ever eaten, and the room was fit for a princess. Also I wasn’t in danger of being murdered by one of my fellow guests, probably. Please stay here. You won’t regret it.
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
What to Pack?
Sweden can be on the rainy side. So the two most important things you’ll need to bring are an umbrella and some rain boots. My favorite travel umbrella is the Repel Teflon Waterproof Umbrella. It is strong enough to stand up to the sometimes-quite-strong winds of Sweden.
For rain boots, I recommend the Asgard Rain Boots. They are comfy/cozy and keep my feet dry all day. Plus they’re cute enough that I can wear them out and about without feeling like some gauche American with gross feet.
Finally, if you’re not from Europe, you need a universal adapter if you’re going to plug in electronics. European electrical outlets don’t work with either American or British plugs. I suggest the NEWVANGA travel adapter. It’s usable with any electrical outlet in the world, so you won’t need to keep buying new adapters. I always carry two with me, just in case something happens to one.
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
Universeum is an extraordinary science museum right in the middle of Gothenburg. Some people think science museums are only for children or people with children. But I love a good science museum, and yet children frighten and confuse me! Universeum has everything from a replica of a rainforest to a giant collection of tropical fish. Plus it is conveniently located just next to Liseberg Park. We could probably spend all the One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary at Universeum, but for now I’ll just get you started with…
three fun facts: universeum
1) Do clownfish have gender equality?
One of the most interesting parts of Universeum is the section on tropical fish. If you’re a Finding Nemo fan, don’t miss the section on clownfish. I knew clownfish were adorable and resilient and sound like Albert Brooks, but I didn’t realize that they were a matriarchal society. Apparently all clownfish are born male, but some clownfish become female as they grow bigger and stronger. I feel sure that’s a metaphor for something. I’m just not sure exactly what for yet.
2) How lazy are sloths?
I had a hard time deciding which was my favorite exhibit at Universeum: the aquarium or the replica of a rainforest. However, I’m quite sure the rainforest exhibit contained my favorite fact, which is that sloths are so lazy, they only poop once a week. I’ve definitely gone through lazy times myself, but though I can imagine being too lazy to wash my hair or put on makeup, I can’t imagine being too lazy to poop. Sloths indeed have much to teach the world about chilling out.
3) What’s Indiana Jones’s worst nightmare?
The squeamish will want to pass on the section about poisonous animals. However, the rest of us will be too curious to pass up the chance of seeing the world’s most venomous creatures. It was here that I learned that the deadliest snake in the world is known as the scaled viper. I have so many questions about that. Is it deadlier than El Chapo? Whose job is it to measure the world’s deadliest snake?
How many people do you need to poison with snake venom in order to make sure which snake is the deadliest? Isn’t it illegal to conduct research by murdering people with snake venom? Please send your answers to [email protected]’tbelegal.com
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
Afternoon: Liseberg Park
No One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary is complete without Liseberg. Many people consider Liseberg Park (website here) to be one of the best amusement parks in the world. That’s pretty impressive considering it’s been operating for almost a hundred years.
I’m a big fan of amusement parks myself, from Disney World to Busch Gardens, and I agree that Liseberg Park is special. Most amusement parks have roller coasters and log flumes. How many also have licorice flavored popcorn, a giant green rabbit, and a star dedicated to the Osmond Brothers?
Only Liseberg Park! If that doesn’t convince you to visit, allow me to persuade you with…
approximately top 5: liseberg park edition
1) Lunch at The Green Room
At this point in our One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, you’ll be hungry. I definitely suggest getting lunch as soon as you arrive at Liseberg. That way you can wander around and go on some gentle rides before you tackle the roller coasters. This means you won’t loop-the-loop on either an empty or a stuffed stomach. (Both of which are terrible ideas, and I know from personal experience.)
The Green Room could satisfy pretty much anyone. It’s a vegetarian buffet restaurant, so obviously meat-avoiders will find anything to satisfy them. Because it’s a buffet, you only pay one set price for all you can eat. This makes it one of the more budget friendly restaurants in Gothenburg, which isn’t exactly a cheapo city. Finally, kids between 2 and 12 eat for less than half price, so it’s definitely a swell choice for families. The only people who wouldn’t like this restaurant are people who only eat meat, and as much as I like a good steak, I don’t think that’s a super healthy choice.
2) Liseberg Park Popcorn
Just because I steered you towards a healthy restaurant doesn’t mean I don’t want you to eat only health food at Liseberg Park. After all, this is ‘Murica! Ahem, I mean this is Sweden! We need to get our candy on. Don’t miss the authentically Swedish mixture covered in different kinds of melted licorice, from raspberry licorice to Plain Old Licorice.
Remember that nothing says Swedish like a thick piece of black licorice. I could feel myself becoming more and more Swedish as I ate the stuff. By the end of our One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, I’ll be speaking fluent BORK BORK BORK!
3) Wave Swinger
No, this next ride has nothing to do with 70s style key parties. Nor does it actually have any waves. You just sit in your stylish chair and swing around gently as the carousel rises, tilts, and whirls around you. This is probably the gentlest, non-kiddy ride in the whole park. It’s also a good way to ease into the rides after you’ve let your lunch settle.
Pro Tip: Wear shoes that will not fall off your feet. Swedish children don’t appreciate being hit in the head with a flying shoe.
The JukeBox looks like someone crossed Doc Ock from Spiderman with tht diner from Happy Days. First, you get inside one of these sweet rides that would definitely make the Fonz say, “EY!” Then the ride starts blasting classic 50s sock hop tunes like “Rock Around the Clock”. Then you start lifting up and spinning around and either screaming with fear or squealing with glee, depending on how awesome you are.
I do have one important question, though. Why does Liseberg Park spell the word JukeBox like that instead of making it two separate words? Is this some hep Gothenberg style I haven’t caught on to yet?
It’s not a proper amusement park without a ride that gets you wet, and Liseberg Park is nothing if not proper. On Kallerado, you will share a tube with several friendly strangers as you shoot down the rapids and either hope to get soaked or pray you won’t depending on how awesome you are, Internet Stranger.
Keep in mind that though English is widely spoken in Gothenburg, it’s not as widely spoken as it is in Stockholm. So you might share your tube with people who don’t speak English. Just smile and gesture if you need to communicate and hope you don’t fall on top of someone because I don’t know how to apologize in Swedish.
All right, Internet Stranger, now I think we’re ready for some serious firepower. It’s time for Baldur, which is one of the most famous wooden roller coasters in the world. I’m a confirmed roller coaster junkie, and even I think the rattle of the cart as it goes over a wooden roller coaster sounds like an ominous death rattle. But Baldur is luxuriously smooth and gentle. You won’t even once feel like the ride is about to collapse into pieces around you.
Do keep in mind that the line to get on Baldur is quite long and you won’t be able to have your book or phone with you on line. (There are lockers all over Liseberg Park in which you can store your things.) I suggest thinking lovely thoughts to pass the time. We’ll resume the One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary shortly!
All right, Internet Stranger. We’ve finally reached the mack daddy. This is Helix, the longest and fastest roller coaster in Scandinavia. (Scandinavians love roller coasters, so this isn’t damning with faint praise.) When you ride the Helix, you’ll turn upside down seven times and experience weightlessness three times. It’s basically like having someone throw you into a cocktail shaker that is spinning around in the sky. Reader, I loved it. But if the thought of turning upside down 7 times terrifies you, please give it a pass. No judgement here.
Keep in mind that you have to wait on an extensive line to get on to Helix, and safety instructions will be given repeatedly in Swedish only. Even a Coaster Head like myself became terrified that there was something important I was missing and that I would soon meet my demise. But never fear! Even without knowing any Swedish beyond “Bork, bork, bork” I still managed to survive, and so will you.
24 Hour Treasure: Liseberg park Ears
You simply can’t possibly leave Liseberg Park without buying some green bunny ears. The mascot of the park is a giant green and pink bunny named the Liseberg Rabbit. Keep in mind that in Swedish, you pronounce Liseberg like “Lise-burry”.
So I thought it would be a better idea to name the mascot The Lise-bunny. Nobody would listen to me. So I just bought my own ears and ran around asking people to call me Lise-bunny. Then the Swedes threw me in Theme Park Jail. Oh well! It was fun while it lasted!
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
Evening: Thornstroms Kok
Thornstroms Kok is one of the finest restaurants in Gothenburg, and it can back up that claim with a Michelin star. TK, as its friends call it, specializes in using modern techniques to enhance fresh, local ingredients. Hmmm, that seems like a rather bland description of a pretty spectacular restaurant.
It’s more accurate to say that the ingredient is the star of each tiny, flawless dish (and there are 18 dishes on the tasting menu that I experienced). Some people might think it’s strange to follow an amusement park with dinner at a gourmet restaurant. Those people just don’t know how to live! This is the perfect end to our One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. For those who do want to live, I present you with…
approximately top 20: thornstroms kok
This amuse bouche was a rich, crispy cracker topped with chicken paste and a seaweed cracker with broccoli dip. This set the stage for the rest of the meal beautifully because my main memory of this dish was how intense the flavors of the broccoli and chicken were. Intense Flavor was definitely the theme of the evening, and also an excellent name for a band in which all the members are chefs.
The meal began with several one-bite dishes served as a rapid pace. This kohlrabi roll filled with mackerel was flawlessly fishy.
Up next on the Intense Flavor parade was a mushroom cracker filled with mushroom paste. I thought this dish contained the platonic ideal of mushroom essence until the next course…
Then the mushroom broth used to cook the mushrooms from my previous course was served to me with a little sherry mixed in. The slight sweetness of the sherry added to the mushroom almost tricked me into thinking I was consuming a meat broth. Or it made me think that mushrooms are as delicious as meat. I can’t quite tell which.
Back to the one bites! Here we have a ball of pure chicken liver flavor. This is a little classier than the chopped chicken liver I had at all my friends bat mitzvahs, even that one pile of chopped liver that was shaped like a swan.
Finally we get to some of the bigger courses. This dish was arctic char served with pickled cucumber, cauliflower, and leek ash. One of the principles of modern Scandinavian cooking is that a piece of protein should be served with the produce that naturally grows near it. This scrumptious fish validated these principles most deliciously.
This squid in squid foam served with squid ink showed how intense a dish can be if you just triple up on one flawless ingredient. I loved it, but you best be sure your fishmonger is giving you the world’s best squid if you want to try this at home.
Our first “meat” course was sweetbreads served with an apricot and hazelnut paste that was prepared tableside. I always like a little theater with my dinner. Plus that way, you know the sauce didn’t come from a bottle. SMRT! Sweetbreads are so rich that the sweet and salty sauce was definitely necessary for that perfect balance.
So the last dish featured one rich ingredient with a light sauce to balance the whole thing out. This next course is all about richness: a flounder topped with egg, shrimp butter, and toasted brioche. I basically felt like Scrooge McDuck swandiving into a pile of gold coins as I ate this.
We’re back to contrasts again! The next fish course was turbot served with butter sauce and broccoli. Both the turbot and the butter sauce were smooth and mild, so the broccoli was necessarily to help one not float off entirely on a sea of butter dreams while eating. (Actually, floating off on a sea of butter dreams sounds delightful. But broccoli is very good for you.)
The star of the show here is Swedish pork. (Pork, pork, pork!) That’s pork tenderloin served with pork belly and beet. Pork is truly one of nature’s miracles because so many different delicious meat goods can be made from the piggy. I wonder if adding a crumbling of Swedish bacon would have made this dish even better or if that would have been gilding the piggy.
Well, after eleven courses, it’s time for a little palette cleanser. Here we have some black currant and beer foam. The picture is a little blurry because I think the beer was just starting to tip me over into tipsiness. (Keep in mind that there were wine pairings with each course too.)
The meat course of the evening was an extremely rare steak served with a sauce, again made tableside, and a truffle onion. If you’re trying to make an excellent piece of steak really shine, I strongly suggest eating it as rare as possible. I know this squicks some people, but you can just taste the quality of the meat so much better. Live a little, Internet Stranger!
Now it’s time for the first of five dessert courses! If I lived in Gothenburg, I’d be tempted to eat at Thornstroms Kok every evening, which would soon leave me obese and penniless. So it’s probably just as well that I live in New York City, which has no restaurants. This was a red currant ice cream stick covered with licorice powder. Truly if you have dessert in Sweden and no licorice is involved, it is no authentic Swedish dessert.
Contemporary Scandinavian restaurants often use savory ingredients in the desserts. This was a tomato sorbet with fennel and vanilla meringue. Only one of those tastes is something I’d expect to find in a dessert. But a tomato is a fruit and it was delicious with the vanilla. Also a light dessert was much appreciated after my 8 million previous courses.
This beauty was fresh blackberries served with lovage sorbet and wheat crackers. Berries are one of the few fruits that grow naturally in Sweden, so you can often see them on dessert menus here. Lovage is an herb that tastes a little like celery. I personally think celery is underrated as a dessert ingredient. It has no calories, so I’m sure it cancels out whatever calories are in the rest of the dessert. That’s just science. I’m going to start sprinkling a little celery on my rocky road ice cream immediately to see if that works.
We’re almost to the end of this Dickensian novel of a dinner. My petits fours were the world’s tiniest apple cake and a bit of tart gooseberry jam. Truly there is no end to the kind of berries to be found in Scandinavia. I think snozzberries may grow in the wild there.
Just when I thought I was out, the waiter came by to force this cookie jar on me. I was stuffed to the gills with gooseberry, lovage sorbet, and shrimp butter, but I managed to pull out one tiny lingonberry cookie and eat it. The waiter begged me to try another. Then I exploded from too much food. Now I’m a ghost! But it was definitely worth it.
That’s a Perfect One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary
What would you do with a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Gothenburg? Do you think Lise-bunny sounds better than Liseburg Rabbit? And what is that scaled viper doing creeping up behind you? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. If you have another One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, try this itinerary.